The Northern Cheyenne Exodus: A Reappraisal of the Army's Response - Why it Took the Army Seven Months and One Thousand Miles to Capture Fleeing Indians Under Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf
The Northern Cheyenne, along with other tribes the US Government forcibly removed to IT, never considered it home. Their home was on the Northern Plains. Treaty misrepresentations had left the Northern Cheyenne tribe in limbo for most of the past decade because the past treaties did not deal with them as an individually separate tribe, independent from their cousins, the Southern Cheyenne. More
This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. After spending approximately 13 months on a reservation with their Southern Cheyenne cousins in the Indian Territory of present-day Oklahoma, over 300 men, women, and children of the Northern Cheyenne, under Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf, decided reservation life in the south did not suit them. They left the reservation in September 1878 without the US Government's permission hoping to return to their former homelands on the Northern Plains. Alerted to the escape, the US Army dispatched troops in pursuit and asked every military department in the Plains to assist, or be prepared to assist, in the containment of this group of escapees. A running fight ensued through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, and in every engagement, the Indians emerged either victorious or managed to escape the soldiers until one group, under Dull Knife, finally surrendered to the US Army in northwestern Nebraska, nearly two months and 700 hundred miles later. The last group, under Little Wolf, surrendered five months after that in southeastern Montana—a journey of nearly 1,000 miles. This study answers why it took the Army so long to subdue the "outbreak" and capture the fleeing Northern Cheyenne.
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION * CHAPTER 2 - THE CHEYENNE * Origins, Tribal Structure, and Tribal Split * Treaties and Agreements * Dull Knife, Little Wolf and the Fighting Cheyenne * Removal to the South and Reservation Depredations * CHAPTER 3 - THE FRONTIER ARMY * Army Demobilization and Reorganization * Training and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) * US Army's Indian Fighting Experience * CHAPTER 4 - THE EXODUS AND PURSUIT * Their Preparations and Departure * First Responders * Battle of Turkey Springs * The US Army's Contingencies * Captain Hemphill's Turn * Sandy Creek Fights * Battle of Punished Woman's Fork * The Pursuit Continues While Indians Raid the Northwest Kansas Settlements * The Band Splits and Dull Knife Surrenders * The Fort Robinson Outbreak and the Surrender of Little Wolf * CHAPTER 5 - EPILOGUE AND CONCLUSION * The Army's Reaction * Fate of the Northern Cheyenne * Successes and Failures
The Northern Cheyenne, along with other tribes the US Government forcibly removed to IT, never considered it home. Their home was on the Northern Plains. Treaty misrepresentations had left the Northern Cheyenne tribe in limbo for most of the past decade because the past treaties did not deal with them as an individually separate tribe, independent from their cousins, the Southern Cheyenne. They never had a reservation of their own, but instead shared reservation lands with the numerically superior Lakota Sioux. The US Government's officials tended to deal with specific tribal chiefs as spokespersons for the entire tribe. Whether they were culturally ignorant or knew exactly what they were doing in their dealings with the various indigenous peoples is open for debate.
This study has five chapters and multiple sub-chapters, including the introduction that answers the primary research question and the associated secondary research questions. The second chapter is entirely dedicated to the Cheyenne nation, their origins, tribal split, fighting experience, removal of the Northern Cheyenne to the IT, and reservation depredations. This chapter specifically answers these secondary research questions: What advantages and disadvantages did the Cheyenne have or overcome in their exodus from the IT reservation that thwarted the US Army's attempts to contain them? Moreover, why did the Northern Cheyenne opt to leave the Darlington Reservation? It is important to answer these questions to grasp the type of foe the US Army was up against and the motivation that drove the Northern Cheyenne to flee or fight when necessary.
Available ebook formats: